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Phenomenology and Buddhism

GeoLaureate8
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2/23/2011 1:41:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I have noticed that there has been little to no discussion of Phenomenology on this forum despite the number of philosophically educated users here. This is a fascinating and perplexing topic that philosophers such as Hussurl and Heidegger have touched on and I think should be discussed more.

For starters, here's what Buddhist philosophy says about Phenomenology:

dharma

"[Early Buddhist philosophy detailed] a pluralist metaphysical and phenomenological system, in which all experiences of people, things and events can be broken down into smaller and smaller perceptual- ontological units called "dharma." dharma refers to a phenomenon or constituent factor of human experience. It was gradually expanded into a classification of constituents of the entire material and mental world. Rejecting the substantial existence of permanent entities which are qualified by possibly changing qualities, Buddhist Abhidharma philosophers enumerated lists of dharmas which varied by school. They came to propound that these "constituent factors" are the only type of entity that truly exists (and only some thinkers gave dharmas this kind of existence). This notion is of particular importance for the analysis of human experience: Rather than assuming that mental states inhere in a cognizing subject, or a soul-substance, Buddhist philosophers largely propose that mental states alone exist as "momentary elements of consciousness" and that a subjective perceiver is assumed."
-- Wikipedia

However, the famous Buddhist philosopher, Nagarjuna, noted that even the dharmas aren't real, they are just part of the human experience and what we perceive hence the term "perceptual-ontological units."

"When all dharmas are empty, what is endless? What has an end? What is endless and with an end? What is not endless and not with an end? What is it? What is other? What is permanent? What is impermanent? What is impermanent and permanent? What is neither?

Auspicious is the pacification of phenomenal metastasis, the pacification of all apprehending; There is no dharma whatsoever taught by the Buddha to whomever, whenever, wherever." --Mlamadhyamakakrik;, nirvnapar; 25:22-24


Dependent Origination

"What some consider the original positive Buddhist contribution to the field of metaphysics is dependent origination (prattyasamutpda). It states that events are not predetermined, nor are they random, and it rejects notions of direct causation, which are necessarily undergirded by a substantialist metaphysics. Instead, it posits the arising of events under certain conditions which are inextricable, such that the processes in question at no time, are considered to be entities."
-- Wikipedia

This is a very interesting notion. You may be wondering how things can be neither predetermined nor random, but I think it begins to make sense when you realize this: Events arise "under certain conditions which are inextricable, such that the processes in question at no time, are considered to be entities."

There's also the Buddhist teachings on the Five Aggregates concerning the arising of human consciousness and the teachings on the sankharas which are composit things or bundles. I may cover those later.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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2/23/2011 6:38:21 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Most philosophically educated people in DDO, and everywhere else, are generally analytic and not continental, thus explaining your perplexity at the lack of attention phenomenology has received.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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2/23/2011 6:40:08 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Where's all the philosophy buffs?

Any comments on Phenomenology are welcome, it doesn't have to address Buddhism.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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2/23/2011 6:42:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/23/2011 6:38:21 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
Most philosophically educated people in DDO, and everywhere else, are generally analytic and not continental, thus explaining your perplexity at the lack of attention phenomenology has received.

Haha, you beat me to it.

I don't that its correct to say Continental is not analytical though.

What is it about Continental philosophy that shys people away?
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
GeoLaureate8
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2/23/2011 6:55:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Btw, many here are interested in theory of mind and neuropsychology. Anyone who is interested in theory of mind SHOULD be interested in phenomenology.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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2/23/2011 7:44:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What is it about Continental philosophy that shys people away?:

Nobody cares enough about it. *shrugs*
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
mattrodstrom
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2/23/2011 7:53:42 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Are Time and Space not elements of "dharma" ???

and if they are elements of dharma... why do you insist that their characteristics (at least those of space) go into "a-priori knowledge"


are time and space descriptive of the Objective world.. or are they simply the manner in which we (quite apparently) happen to see things.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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2/23/2011 7:53:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/23/2011 6:42:52 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 2/23/2011 6:38:21 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
Most philosophically educated people in DDO, and everywhere else, are generally analytic and not continental, thus explaining your perplexity at the lack of attention phenomenology has received.

Haha, you beat me to it.

I don't that its correct to say Continental is not analytical though.

As in the demarcation between continental philosophy and analytic philosophy (though I do agree that, as is with any demarcation, the division is tenuous).

What is it about Continental philosophy that shys people away?

Well, many major works are much harder to understand than analytic work, given that there are many terms that need to be defined (and a general, cryptic writing style from people like Hegel).
CosmicAlfonzo
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2/23/2011 7:58:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
All philosophy is the same.

People have been thinking the same sh!t for thousands and thousands of years.

Almost everything is a re-hash of the old, and everything that you've thought of on your own has already been thought of.

The only thing that changes is the symbolism that is used to represent. As language evolves(and it constantly evolves), the meanings of the symbols we use to communicate ideas and thought processes evolves.. The meanings of words change, the understandings of words change.

People realize that certain concepts... like "Slavery" are not usually in their best interest, people have thought of many ways to reword it and trick people into thinking they are getting something better when really, what they are getting amounts to the same thing. This is because human beings tend to not think deeply, and don't really understand the things that they think they might even understand.

Phenomenology is basically another way of saying, "To think deeply" about, because that is basically what it is. It is the well which all inspiring philosophy originates. It is the study of meanings rather than symbols.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
FREEDO
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2/23/2011 8:07:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I've been deeply involved in Phenomenological thought all my life and especially in my post-Christian days.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
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2/23/2011 8:07:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/23/2011 7:58:29 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
Phenomenology is basically another way of saying, "To think deeply" about, because that is basically what it is. It is the well which all inspiring philosophy originates. It is the study of meanings rather than symbols.

So right.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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2/23/2011 9:07:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/23/2011 7:53:42 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Are Time and Space not elements of "dharma" ???

This statement doesn't make sense. There are no "elements" that make up dharma. You must have missed the definition of "dharma."

dharma: "things and events can be broken down into smaller and smaller perceptual-ontological units called "dharma." dharma refers to a phenomenon or constituent factor of human experience. "

and if they are elements of dharma... why do you insist that their characteristics (at least those of space) go into "a-priori knowledge"


I'm not sure that a-priori knowlege applies here. The dharmas were postulated based on a-posteriori validation.

are time and space descriptive of the Objective world.. or are they simply the manner in which we (quite apparently) happen to see things.

I don't even understand what you mean by "time and space" in relation to the Objective world.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
mattrodstrom
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2/23/2011 10:37:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/23/2011 9:07:51 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 2/23/2011 7:53:42 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Are Time and Space not elements of "dharma" ???

This statement doesn't make sense. There are no "elements" that make up dharma. You must have missed the definition of "dharma."

are they characteristics of dharma... are they "dharmic" manifestations

like your laptop!

dharma: "things and events can be broken down into smaller and smaller perceptual-ontological units called "dharma."
dharma refers to a phenomenon or constituent factor of human experience.
"
Are Space and time not Phenomena or constiuent factors of human experience.

are they more than that?
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
eball45
Posts: 125
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2/24/2011 12:03:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Language is symbolic.
We all think, deeply or otherwise, In the form of language.
Deep thinking is contingent on symbols.
FREEDO
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2/24/2011 12:40:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/24/2011 12:03:04 AM, eball45 wrote:
Language is symbolic.
We all think, deeply or otherwise, In the form of language.
Deep thinking is contingent on symbols.

It's funny, I was just pondering this the other day. Science has found that language has a HUGE impact on the way we think. People who speak different languages are actually inclined to think differently and even have different cognitive skills due to how their language operates. This reminded me of how, at times, I have realized myself thinking with only ideas themselves and without language. So recently I have putting this into practice. It's very difficult but it is also very rewarding.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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2/24/2011 12:54:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/24/2011 12:03:04 AM, eball45 wrote:
Language is symbolic.
We all think, deeply or otherwise, In the form of language.
Deep thinking is contingent on symbols.

You don't have to think deeply with symbols really.

Sometimes the deepest thoughts are hardly deep at all, they just happen naturally..

Your subconscious almost sorts everything out, all you have to do is put information in your head.

Now, your subconscious might think with symbols, who knows.. But to me, it is like this purple ether that I pull sh!t out of. It seems to sort everything out for me.

I'm an idiot, but that thing that keeps putting sh!t into my head seems rather intelligent.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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2/24/2011 1:48:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/23/2011 10:37:58 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 2/23/2011 9:07:51 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
At 2/23/2011 7:53:42 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Are Time and Space not elements of "dharma" ???

This statement doesn't make sense. There are no "elements" that make up dharma. You must have missed the definition of "dharma."

are they characteristics of dharma... are they "dharmic" manifestations

like your laptop!

Again, it would be incorrect to say that things are a manifestation of dharma. dharmas are things broken down into small perceptual-ontological units. Space and time are somewhat abstract and only really apply on the macrocosm level. It wouldn't be correct to say that they are "manifestations" of dharma because dharmas don't manifest, they are phenomena/events.

dharma: "things and events can be broken down into smaller and smaller perceptual-ontological units called "dharma."
dharma refers to a phenomenon or constituent factor of human experience.
"
Are Space and time not Phenomena or constiuent factors of human experience.

I don't think that can be considered "phenomena."

are they more than that?

Space and time are not transcendent. Though, I like to stay away from that terminology.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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2/24/2011 2:02:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/23/2011 6:38:21 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
Most philosophically educated people in DDO, and everywhere else, are generally analytic and not continental, thus explaining your perplexity at the lack of attention phenomenology has received.

Agreed... and, if you understand phenomenology as seeking to establish the conditions for an objective study of traditionally "subjective" experiences... then it becomes more of a logical proposition anyway =P
CosmicAlfonzo
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2/24/2011 5:05:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Most people don't realize that sometimes to be objective, you need to take the subjectivity of individuals into account.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp